Man's Phone Goes Missing, Returns the Next Day Filled With Monkey Selfies

Picture this: You're at your wits end trying to locate your lost cellular device, only for it to suspiciously turn up in the jungle behind your house. Something tells you to check your image gallery for any clues as to who may have been behind the phone's disappearance, so you open up your photos and discover... a number of pictures of a monkey's face.

That was the case for one 20-year-old man whose phone recently went missing from his home in Malaysia.

Zackrydz Rodzi told local outlets that he noticed his phone was missing on Saturday. However, there was no sign of a robbery at his house in Batu Pahat, located in the southern province of Johor. "The only thing on my mind was it was some kind of sorcery," Zackrydz said after having searched high and low for the phone.

Giving the search another shot on Sunday, Zackrydz ended up finding the device in the jungle just steps beyond his family's backyard garden. Zackrydz called the phone while outside and traced the ring to a pile of leaves beneath a palm tree. It just so happens that the same afternoon, Zackrydz noticed a monkey hanging around outside their house.

Zackrydz said his uncle suggested he check the phone to see if perhaps there was a picture of the culprit. Lo and behold, Zackrydz found multiple selfies of the animal that had been lurking around the property that day. "Boom, it's full of monkey photos," Zackrydz said.

In the up-close-and-personal images, which have since gone viral on social media, the brown-eyed monkey is serving face while looking directly into the camera. He's surrounded by lush greenery and birds can even be seen in the background in some of the photos. Zackrydz's phone did suffer some exterior damage that may have been caused when the money apparently attempted to eat the phone, as seen in one video that the animal captured.

Although monkeys are prone to stealing when they live in urban areas of the world, Zackrydz told BBC that he's never known them to take humans' belongings in his rural town. "Something that you might see once in a century," Zackrydz said of the event.

Malezya’da yaşayan Zackrydz Rodzi, kaybolan ve ertesi gün ormanlık alanda bulduğu telefonunun galerisine girdiğinde maymun selfie’ileri, ağaç fotoğrafları, hatta kısa bir video ile karşılaştı

— Medyanın Elli Tonu (@Medyanin50Tonu) September 15, 2020

Back in 2011 in Indonesia, a crested macaque monkey named Naruto caused quite a stir when it took dozens of selfies with a nature photographer's professional camera. David John Slater was visiting the country on assignment at the time, and published the adorable discovery in a book. However, the images became the focal point of a major copyright infringement lawsuit launched by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 2015, in which PETA claimed Slater violated Naruto's rights by publishing and making money off of the photos captured by the monkey.

After a judge agreed that Naruto couldn't own a copyright, and therefore his rights couldn't be infringed upon, PETA appealed the ruling, only to essentially have the motion shot down once again by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court in 2018.

Man's Phone Goes Missing—Returns the Next Day
In this photo taken September 5, 2020, visitors feed monkeys at the Buddhist cave temple on Khao Chakan mountain in the eastern Thai province of Sa Kaeo. ROMEO GACAD/AFP via Getty Images